We may have seen some action from the 2022 season, but it’s never too late for some quick IDP breakouts. Each of these guys have a huge opportunity to really step up and be IDP GOLD for the season.
Rashan 'Bane' Gary (DL/LB, GB)
The former 1st round pick from Michigan is living up to his potential. He has made improvement each of his first 3 years, and the 4th should be no different. The Packers front office believes so, as they exercised his 5th year option. He will be a cornerstone to what could be the #1 ranked defense at season’s end. Preston Smith has been rock steady on the other side, and Gary has been destroying every lineman he has seen in training camp/joint practices. Coordinators will not be able to scheme both out of the game. Gary could be the 2022 NFL sack leader, a breakout candidate free of flaws.
Isiah Simmons (LB/DB, ARI)
This young man has the dual designation due to his freak like size and athleticism. A larger version of new hybrid safeties and linebackers. 6′ 4″ 240 pounds of IDP greatness coming on almost every defensive snap of the season… YES PLEASE! He’s the ‘Green Dot’ which means not only will he be out there for 3 downs, but he is a great communicator, and a great visionary for pre-snap reads needed for audibles. Something you wont find from the stat nerds is this means that D. Coordinator Vance Joseph has 100% Trust in him. This is something you can not quantify, yet is more important than any stat. Look for improvement on his 105 tackles, and 6 passes defended in 2022.
Markus Golden (DL/LB, ARI)
You are reading this correctly, TWO BREAKOUT candidates on the same team! Vance Joseph is a disrespected coordinator and the Cardinals have talent at all 3 levels. Golden could bring criticism such as, ‘He’s in his 9th year, He’s 31, he has been on the IDP radar before, etc. etc. The truth is there is hardly anyone expecting a repeat year. Outside of yours truly, he barely gets a mention. He tallied 48 tackles and 11 sacks last year, and with the departure of C. Jones, he is now expected to be the EDGE PRESSURE for the Cardinals. He signed the extension and will be crucial to their success. Although injured, he should eclipse his career best 12.5 sacks.
Ernest Jones (LB, LAR)
Let’s keep it in the NFC West eh? Jones has had different reviews from the IDP community. He should improve vastly on his 61 tackles from 2021. To his benefit he doesn’t have to be the best player on his team, or even in his position group. Jones has the luxury of having the best defensive tackle in the league (Aaron Donald) absorbing double or triple teams. Beside him is the best linebacker of the past decade in Bobby Dubs, cause all he does is win! This allows Jones to be free from double teams, and free of most schemes as coordinators will focus on Donald, Wagner, and Ramsey far more than him. 100 combined tackles is within reach, and you want as many of those guys on your roster as possible.
Jaelan Phillips (DL/LB, MIA)
We can’t have all the breakouts be on the NFC when all the off-season hype has been on the AFC… can we? The former 1st round pick is entering his second year with the Dolphins. He only earned 42 tackles last year, but finished with an outstanding 8.5 sacks! The Dolphins improved their offense, and most of the buzz has been around that. Count on Phillips improving as well. If he improves on his tackles and sacks from last year, particularly if the Dolphins play with a positive game script, he will have a more than serviceable stat line.
- M. Davenport (DL, NO)
- B. Okerke (LB, IND)
- T. Walker (DL/LB, JAX)
- A. Hutchinson (DL, DET)
- D. Tranquill (LB, LAC)
- K. White (LB, PHI)
- H. Reddick (DL/LB, PHI)
- Q. Walker (LB, GB)
Image Credit: Mark J. Rebilas – USA TODAY Sports